The longitudinal arch collapses, producing pain both when putting weight on it but also at rest, both in the sole of the foot and on the inside of the foot. Often the patient notices that he or she can no longer walk barefoot or in stocking feet; sturdy shoes and arch supports are required.
Walking distance gradually decreases because of increasing pain and fatigue in the foot. Patients find that participating in sport is very limited or impossible. With time, the condition becomes severely disabling. Flat feet is divided into four levels. The first level is usually treated with insoles but there is a deterioration over time, which can take several years. When the deterioration has reached grades 2-4, the insole treatment will no longer work; some patients instead experience that the insole feels like a pebble in the arch.
There are various operations that aim to restore the arch. These can be considered successful, and the results are often seen by patients as very satisfactory.
The surgery is performed under general anesthetic or spinal anesthetic and takes 2-3 hours, depending on the type of procedure performed. The patient must not put weight on the foot for 8-12 weeks post-surgery. Plaster of Paris or orthosis take equally as long. The sutures are removed after 3 weeks.
Sick leave for 12-16 weeks. Long rehabilitation with physiotherapy. It takes nearly a year before patients can walk and become fully active again. Despite the long rehabilitation, the results after this type of surgery are so good that the surgery can indeed be recommended.